Pink shrimp is the first fishery managed by Washington to receive certification from the global Marine Stewardship Council fisheries standard for sustainable, wild-caught seafood.
The state’s fishery was independently assessed as a scope extension of the MSC certified Oregon pink shrimp fishery, which achieved certification to the MSC standard in December 2007 and attained recertification in February 2013.
“Washington state’s pink shrimp fishermen are proud that this is the first Washington state-managed fishery to earn certification to the MSC standard,” said Charles Kirschbaum, Pacific Seafood Group’s product manager, in a prepared statement. "Efforts by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, working closely with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, to develop and adopt reference points, and implement bycatch reduction measures are key to making the fishery one of the most sustainable shrimp fisheries in the world."
Since the late 1990’s, fishing for pink shrimp in Washington has steadily improved with recent landings increasing from approximately 10 million pounds per year to a record 30 million pounds, with a value of more than $16 million, in 2014.
“Washington pink shrimp fishermen have a record of being willing to adopt sustainable fishing practices, often ahead of regulatory action, so I’m very pleased to see recognition of the fishery through MSC certification,” said Lorna Wargo, a senior fisheries biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
This certification assessed the west coast pink shrimp stock which extends from south east Alaska to California waters. The assessment considered the health of the coast wide stock and the effects of all permitted harvests on that stock.